Friday Flower – Pineapple

Pineapple - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Pineapple – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Yes it is true that the pineapple is a fruit, but did you know that to make a pineapple, this bromeliad must flower. Actually the flower spike it produces is up to 6 inches (15cms) tall, and will contain up to 200 spirally arranged flowers. The fruits (technically they are berries) develop from the ovaries of the individual flowers, which then join together to become the yummy pineapple that we eat. The fruits are arranged into two interlocking helices, one containing 8, and the other direction containing 13. These numbers are both Fibonacci numbers. I don’t want to bore you with too much mathematics, but the sequence goes as follows, 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55…and so on. Each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers. Fibonacci numbers often appear in nature (which is governed by mathematics) such as in the branching of trees, arrangement of leaves along a stem and in succulents, petals on a flower, pine cone bracts, the list is huge. So those of you that love nature, and never thought of yourselves as mathematicians, you are actually math admirers.

Have a great weekend everyone!